We recently purchased 15 Ipads for our school. Being a PC/Android person all my life I was not overly familiar with how teachers might display or mirror what they are doing on the Ipad device to the classroom projector. After a little bit of research I discovered that there are multiple options available. This post documents what’s currently out there.
A document or USB camera might also work for you although the quality won’t be as good as the direct connection to projector.
If you want to wirelessly transmit your device’s screen and audio so that you or your students can walk around the room, then it gets more complicated. To achieve this you will be tapping into Apple’s AirPlay feature that is built into all iPad 2s and newer, including the iPad mini. AirPlay works over Wi-Fi and requires all devices using it to be on the same network (unless you’re using the newest Apple TV –then you can use a peer-to-peer connection.
Apple TV is a small black box that can connect to a projector. The Ipad can mirror wirelessly to Apple TV using AirPlay. However, Apple TV only outputs HDMI. Your projector might not have an HDMI input and if that’s the case, you’ll need an HDMI to VGA cable also.
If you already have a computer connected to your projector, you should look into using software to turn that Mac or Windows PC into an AirPlay receiver. You can download and try for free a host of different software options. The main players are: AirServer, Reflector 2, Annotate Mirror Client, Mirroring360, iTools,
X-Mirage and LonelyScreen. These software solutions run on your computer and allow devices to mirror the Ipad to the computer screen. Since the computer is connected to a projector, then the Ipad shows on the projector. The cost of each software title is generally around $15 with LonelyScreen being the only totally free option
These software options require the device and the computer to be on the same wireless network. This may require you to have a wireless router in the classroom when using the Ipads with the children so factor this into your planning also.
Even if your network allows for AirPlay connections, it also needs to be reliable. Many teachers experience slow and dropped AirPlay connections, which can make mirroring a frustrating experience. It’s a good thing there are free trials of each of the software mirroring solutions so you can test your school’s set-up before purchasing and see which one works best for you.
If your Wi-Fi network won’t cooperate with AirPlay, you should check out iTools. It’s free software for Windows PCs that will mirror to a computer using your device’s charge/sync cable.
After upgrading to to OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Mac users can mirror their Ipad’s screen using a Lightning cable. Ipad will show up as a camera source in QuickTime.
When you mirror your screen, it’s a great opportunity to use your Ipad as a document camera. You will however want to buy or rig up some sort of stand to use the Ipad as a visualizer. The Justand v2 is one example.